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Young Blood

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Last night my hometown of Chesterfield (in the deepest darkest corners of Derbyshire) played host to the England U-19s vs their German counterparts. It was only a quid a ticket so I wasn't expecting too much but my interest was piqued by the sight of two of our youngsters on show.

Shkodran Mustafi played the full 90 minutes for a strong Germany side, who clearly showed a higher technical capactiy than England. It wasn't quite 4-1 but they were more than worthy of a 1-0 win, and Mustafi looked comfortable throughout. He faced Ipswich's highly rated Connor Wickham in the first half and despite the presence he gave, Mustafi shut him out well and always looked good on the ball. In all fairness, England were poor but he dealt with everything in a composed manner and despite not being the biggest he looked good in the air.

The other Everton youngster was Luke Garbutt, the full-back who we poached from Leeds a while back. He came on for the last 20 minutes or so, with most of Germany's best football coming down that side from a tricky number 11. But Garbutt didn't really put a foot wrong and nullified the threat, as well as pushing on and putting some decent balls in the box, one of which really should have merited an equaliser. He also took all of the corners after he came on with some great delivery (he beat the first man!) so his style definitely seemed in the Baines mould.

All-in-all, Mustafi looks a great prospect and some time out on loan in one of the lower leagues would push him on well. With his smaller build though he might be better suited to full-back, but the potential's there. As for Garbutt, he definitely looks bright though has the issue of being up against one of our guaranteed starters in Bainesy. But maybe treated in the same way as Coleman was ? with a loan and then perhaps an advanced role ? would be a good option.

There's definitely some quality in the youth team and reserves... let's just hope that for those with the potential we're not waiting on injuries to throw them into the fray. COYB!


Adam McCulloch, Chesterfield     Posted 09/02/2011 at 13:57:05

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Peter Webster
1   Posted 09/02/2011 at 15:33:00

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Thanks, Adam. Living in Bristol, I don't get to see much of our youngsters and reserves. So it's always good to get up-to-date eye witness reports and encouraging to see so many of them doing well.
Kieran Kinsella
2   Posted 09/02/2011 at 16:34:26

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Nice article.
Liam Reilly
3   Posted 09/02/2011 at 16:49:54

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Cheers Adam, good news for a change.
Eugene Ruane
4   Posted 09/02/2011 at 16:47:09

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Interesting Adam - and good to hear there's a few decent lads coming through.

It's funny, it used to be that reading pieces like this, I would just get excited about the prospect of seeing lads like these coming through to the first team and 'making it'.

Now, with our finances the way they are, I'm also thinking "If he's good, we might be able to get £8m for the other feller and slot him in there..." etc etc

Sad really.
Andrew Lawrenson
5   Posted 09/02/2011 at 17:28:38

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Adam, Thanks for the update... but it reminds me of a joke I once heard:

Little Johnny come home from school and asked his Dad, "What's the difference between potentially and reality?"

His Dad said, "Come on son I will show you..." They went into the living room and asked the Mum, "Would you sleep with George Clooney for 3 million pounds?"

The mum answered "Yes"; They then asked the sister, "Would you sleep with Brad Pitt for 3 million pounds?" "Of course!" the sister replied.

The dad said, "There you are, son ? that's the difference between potentially and reality.

Son said, "Dad, I don't get it." Dad said, "Well, potentially, we are sitting on 6 million pounds... but in reality we are living with a pair of prozzies."

And that sums up the 2 Everton youngsters... potentially, the future is bright for them...but the reality is Moyes will ruin them ? just like he is ruining Rodwell and Baxter.

Ajay Gopal
6   Posted 09/02/2011 at 18:14:49

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Yes Eugene (#4), finances being the way they are, the one hope that we have of keeping our noses above water is for the youth team players coming through.

Thank you, Adam. Now, if we can find the next Rooney coming through....
Norman Merrill
7   Posted 09/02/2011 at 19:05:37

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Thanks for your article and effort Adam, nice to hear about some of our young players from a fan.
Dick Anderson
8   Posted 09/02/2011 at 19:48:57

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I'm sorry but I don't believe in any hype surrounding the young players. They all seem to fall at the final hurdle.

Go back just a couple of years. Everyone said we had promising youngsters coiming through then. But what happened to them?

John Paul Kissock
Then:-
This kid was once tipped as the next big thing. He played regulary for Everton's reserves. Enjoyed regular England call ups at youth level. And even sat on the Everton bench a few times.

Now:-
Kissock is currently trying to relaunch his career playing for Blue Square Bet Conference side Southport.

John Irving
Then:-
Was Captain of the reserves. Won Reserve Player of The Year in two successive seasons.

Now:-
Currently playing for Welsh side Bala Town. Check out their web-site you will find him in the team line up.

Mark Hughes
Then:-
Actually made 3 appearances for Everton's first team. Held in high regard. Kind of like Shane Duffy is now.

Now:-
Seemed to be earning a decent lower league career with good spells at Northampton and then Walsall but was released last year and now appears to be out of the game.

Lee Molyneux
Then:-
Made his reserve team debut at 16. Was considered a free kick specialist. Won 26 caps playing for England U16, U17 and U18.

Now:-
Was released to Southampton on a free. Played 4 games for them before being released on a free to Plymouth. Where he played 9 games for them before being released and currently finds himself out of the game.
Dick Anderson
9   Posted 09/02/2011 at 20:23:15

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And dont forget Scott Spencer.

Then:-
Moyes poached this big strong yet quick striker from Oldham paying a fee which would increase with appearances. At the time both Moyes and the Oldham manager tipped Spencer for a big career.

Now:-
Was released to Rochdale where he flopped. Was released to Southend where he flopped. Now currently a substitute for Division 2 side Lincoln.
Peter Webster
10   Posted 09/02/2011 at 20:28:35

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Cheers Dick. I was enjoying reading about some of our lads. Think I'll go and slit me wrists now.
James Flynn
11   Posted 09/02/2011 at 21:12:59

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Nice report. But agree with others. Most good teenagers simply don't pan out (whatever the sport). One reason I think Rodwell's the real deal. A 19-year-old who looks like he fits in with the top side.
Adam McCulloch
12   Posted 09/02/2011 at 21:19:59

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Ha! sadly Dick's got a bit of a point there, but at that level, one success story in every ten or so means either someone in the first team (Coleman, Rodwell, etc.) or turning a decent profit. The lads from last night could go either way but, even from my pretty biased point of view, they stood out compared to a lot of the others on show, some with bigger reputations and price tags to match.
David Israel
13   Posted 09/02/2011 at 22:00:18

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Well, Dick, what about Danny Cadamarteri?;-)

Nice and interesting report, Adam! Thanks.
Matteo Rosingana
14   Posted 09/02/2011 at 22:03:07

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Thanks Adam, that was a great report, good to read about some actual football matters too. So it's all positive then? I can look forward to the next few years?
David Hallwood
15   Posted 09/02/2011 at 22:13:39

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Slightly off piste, does anyone know how Ross Barkley's progressing and if he's back in training yet?
Ian Smitham
16   Posted 09/02/2011 at 23:48:14

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Enjoyed the read, thanks.
Steve Fletcher
17   Posted 10/02/2011 at 00:11:28

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Adam, thanks for the update. If I hadn't been working last night I might have gone up to this from Nottingham. Hopefully a few of these kids will come through... it's not like we've got any money to spend!
Ray Roche
18   Posted 10/02/2011 at 07:48:55

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Michael Branch was actually taken with the full England squad when he was about 16 because Terry Venables,then England manager, thought so highly of him and thought the experience would help his career. Loaned out to City, Brum, Wolves,Reading and Hull he eventually found his true level at Chester. A couple of my mates were season ticket holders there and said he was a Big Time Charlie. Attitude was all wrong.
Joe Aylward
19   Posted 10/02/2011 at 08:59:31

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Dick@8. Mark Hughes has actually been plying his trade for the North Queensland Fury in the Australian A League. While he hasn't played badly he'll be looking for a new club as the side is bottom of the table and about to be wound up.
Andrew Ellams
20   Posted 10/02/2011 at 10:42:53

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Who remembers the FA Youth Cup winning team of '98. They are all around the 30 mark and only Richard Dunne and Leon Osman are playing regular top flight football.

It's a tough world.
Kieran Fitzgerald
21   Posted 10/02/2011 at 11:31:56

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Shane Duffy played the full ninety minutes for the Irish under 21 team last night. Anyone know how he's doing in the reserves?
Ian Tunstead
22   Posted 10/02/2011 at 12:14:20

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Andrew #5 Just like he ruined Rooney and Fellaini.

How is it Moyes fault if the players are not good enough? At least Moyes has given the players a chance that they might not have got anywhere else because they are not good enough. It's not Moyes's fault that fans like to hype up young players way above their real ability.
Ste Blundell
23   Posted 10/02/2011 at 12:13:53

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I won the lottery the other day, £6 million.
It wasn't £10 million though. Other people win £10 or £12 million and I only get £6 million, it's fuckin rubbish. Then there was that woman in Ireland who won £80-odd million. It's not fuckin fair, I'm fed up with only winning £6 million and not more.

Do you do the lottery Dick?

Ray Roche
24   Posted 10/02/2011 at 13:04:56

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Ste... lend us a tenner...
Chris Briddon
25   Posted 10/02/2011 at 14:06:45

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There are hundreds of youth players for all the clubs and only a few turn into superstars ? most clubs' youth teams have very few that become regular first team players. However, that doesn't mean we should decide they're rubbish before they have chance to develop.

On an aside, Adam, I would like to complain at your description of Chesterfield as being in the deepest darkest corners of Derbyshire. As a fellow resident of the wonderful town ? we are in a very prominent position, thank you!
Tom Bowers
26   Posted 10/02/2011 at 14:08:55

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Quite true, many over-hyped youngsters don't have the dedication or determination to get to the next level. They want everything too fast and expect everything to fall into their laps. Just ask Frannie Jeffers.

I remember well a certain Martin Murray, an Irish superkid who achieved absolutely nothing.

Leighton Cooper
27   Posted 10/02/2011 at 16:54:10

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I thought Steven Schumacher was going to be the next big thing to come through, always seemed to captain England at youth level. Was suprised to hear he got released at the time, where is he now?

Also, a few years back, didn't we have a promising Irish kid that we were pissed off about the fact Fulham poached him off us, and the fact that his dad let it happen even though he was an ex-Everton player? Could be wrong.
Michael Kenrick
28   Posted 10/02/2011 at 17:45:50

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Wow, Leighton... good call.

That would be Sean Doherty, who left the Everton Academy for the glories of Fulham back on 24 July 2001!!!

Where is he now???
Dick Anderson
29   Posted 10/02/2011 at 19:03:47

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To be fair Steven Schumacher has made a good career for himself in lower league football. He played over 100 games for Bradford. Nearly the same for Crewe and is currently a first team stalwart for Division 2 side Bury.

Sean Doherty on the other hand thought he was getting a better deal at Fulham but he never played for them. He was released and played a few times for lower league side Accrington. But then in January 2007 he was released from Southport and as far as I can tell has spent the last 4 years out of the game. Tragic really because he's only 26 now. Wonder how much he regrets leaving Everton for Fulham now?
Adam McCulloch
30   Posted 11/02/2011 at 09:22:44

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Chris #25 Don't worry, the deepest darkest corner thing was for dramatic effect, and no reflection on our town. To get over 9,000 people in for an u-19 game is a massive achievment. Now all we need is a few more of our lads coming through the system, getting these games and hopefully pushing for the first-team.

The reference to Barkley above was telling; Moyes mentioned him in an interview recently along with Rodwell, Coleman and their ilk, so I'm interested to see how he's going to recover.

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